March 06, 2007

I have two Hillsong t-shirts

Many people in the "emerging church" arena in Australia and in the "evangelical" arena in Sydney spend plenty of their time and energy bagging, slagging and snobbing Hillsong Church. I pose the question is this critising warranted?

Firstly, let me say that I come from the view point of a "Sydney born-and-breed" "Uniting-come-Baptist-influenced-by-FourSquare(Pentecostal)" who believes the future of Christianity lies in "incarnational mission" and "accountable-to-denominations communities of believers".

My Mercy t-shirt

The first Hillsong t-shirt I owned has butterflies on it and the word mercy written across the side. It is to support the social justice and transformation outreaches of Hillsong church.

Many people overlook the massive amount of social justice and transformation work Hillsong is involved in. They take advantage of there size and income, devoting a massive proportion of it to work in the community, with the broken and needy.

As the butterflies symbolise, they believe in the power of God to recreate broken and hurting people into who God created them to be. And as the word mercy indicates, nothing is expected or sought by Hillsong in these acts of compassion, they are just responding to the heart of God.

Question: For those of you who bag Hillsong, what is the social justice and transformation work in your church or community like?

My daughter, warrior, princess t-shirt

Despite the sword on the front, which I know Matt can't get over, this t-shirt supports the Colour Your World conference and associated womens ministries of Hillsong Church. It is based on Holly Wagner's book God Chicks. If you have been to a Colour conference, you will get this, but for the rest of you...

The Hillsong female pastors have a passion for empowering women, desiring them to be all God created them to be. And for many women this is vital. I can attest to this myself. Many woman (and men I know) struggle with insecurities, conformity, roles dictated by men, singleness, marriage and motherhood.

The daughter aspect focusses on being a beloved child of God. To know their identity as loved and treasured by God, that he delights to give good gifts to his children, that his discipline is healthy and his steadfastness is unmoving. This is a very powerful image and very difficult for insecure woman to accept, but basic for a secure and full life in Christ.

The warrior aspect focusses on the victory of Christ and the power in Christ to overcome lifes obstacles and hardships, to stand firm in onslaughts, to remain true, to survive. To know that they can survive singleness, or a difficult patch in marriage, or the terrible twos of your toddler, to the despair of losing a loved one. To know and claim the power of prayer in the name of Jesus and to know that other woman will stand by you and be your rock when you don't think you can stand anymore. This is very powerful for woman, and a true blessing to know and take hold of. This is what will allow woman to be great woman of God, great single chicks, great wives, great mothers, great business women, great pastors.

The princess aspect looks at being the Daughter of the King, the daughter of God. To know that you are a princess (or prince) because you belong to God is key to how you allow people to treat you. If you know that you are a princess you will not settle for second best in male-female relationships. You will not allow yourself to be trampled by others or bullied. You will act graciously and respectfully, honouring the King. This is especially important for teenage girls and woman of all ages to accept so as not to be used in relationships. It is also important for teenage boys and men to realise. They cannot treat their woman folk as they want for their own pleasure and personal gain. They need to realise that God the King is very protective of his girls, and these princesses need to be treated with dignity and respect, they deserved to be loved and cherished.

Question: How is your church empowering, supporting and treating women?

Although I would probably not myself regularly attend Hillsong Church. I do visit and I support their work. I am also proud of the way they handle wrongdoing in the church. Ps. Brian had to sack his own dad, the founder of the church, over sexual misconduct, and he sacked him without scandle. How does your church handle misconduct?

Yes, I know that every church has its faults. They are all made of humans! But instead of focusing on these faults, how about we focus on the good in churches, celebrate these, and learn from them!


John said...

Hi Jen,

Just read your post. Nice and balanced. I attend Hillsong and until recently worked full-time at Teen Challenge.

You post reminded me of an series of excellent posts by Jacqui Gray from the AOG's Southern Cross College (which has a campus within Hillsong College). Jacqui has a few problems with Bobbie's "Princess Theology" but has kept her comments civil and informed. See demonstrates the diversity within our movement while maintaining the unity of the Spirit. Her articles can be found at

On my own blog I have posted my concerns about TD Jakes' understanding of the Trinity. He is a featured speaker at this years Hillsong Conf. While I previously admired his ministry my greater understanding and appreciation for the doctrine of the Trinity has prompted me to post questioning his appropriateness. I hope you might take a look at this too and leave a comment.


Jen Waddell said...

Hi John,

Thanks for your comments about my post. I do try to be balanced about these sorts of things - though I do like to jump on my soapbox about some matters ;)

I read your post at:
Great post, check out my comments there.

:) Jen

Anonymous said...

Sorry Jen, I could not resist such an obvious gauntlet toss. As I suspect you know full well. See

Jen Waddell said...

I knew you would bite Matt! Even more amused that you linked it to one of your posts... now even more people have read it

LOL :)

Anonymous said...

Aston Villa rode their luck at Hull City where an 88-minute own goal from Kamil Zayatte saw them leapfrog three points clear of Arsenal and into fourth place in the Premier League wow gold with a 1-0 win.

Villa had to survive Hull penalty appeals for a handball against Ashley Young in time added on, television replays showing that referee Steve Bennett wow gold correctly rejected the claims after consulting a linesman.

Bennett had been involved in controversy after just five minutes when American goalkeeper Brad Friedel looked to have handed Hull the initiative and threaten Villa's return to the Champions League qualifying wow gold zone.

Friedel spilled wow gold the ball under pressure from Nick Barmby and stand-in right-back Nigel Reo-Coker turned it into his own net as he attempted to wow gold clear.

But Bennett cut short wow gold celebrations at the KC Stadium -- and let Friedel off the hook -- when he ruled out the score for an apparent infringement by Barmby.

Zayatte's intervention from a Young cross bound for wow gold Gabriel Agbonlahor then saw Villa leapfrog Arsenal and draw level with Manchester United on 38 points -- seven adrift of leaders Liverpool and four wow gold behind Chelsea.

Stung by an on-pitch dressing down wow gold by manager Phil Brown at Manchester City last week, Hull showed five changes and a vastly improved performance.

Promoted Hull were looking for only their second win in 11 games while wow gold Villa arrived unbeaten in seven and it looked to be heading for a goalless draw when the home side suffered a cruel late blow.

Anonymous said...

South Africa inflicted the world of warcraft gold first home series defeat on Australia in almost 16 wow powerleveling years as they wrapped up a nine-wicket win over the world's number one ranked world of warcraft gold Test nation in Melbourne on Tuesday.

Captain Graeme Smith wow power leveling hit a fluent 75 as his side successfully passed a world of warcraft gold modest victory target of 183 on the final day at the MCG to take an wow powerleveling unassailable 2-0 lead.

It was the South dofus kamas African's first-ever Test series triumph in Australia and dofus kamas victory in the third and final match in Sydney will see them leapfrog the home side at the top of the global Lord of the Rings Online Gold rankings.

Hashim Amla LOTRO Gold (30 not out) scored the winning fly for fun penya runs shortly after lunch as South Africa flyff penya became the first team to overcome Australia at home Final Fantasy XI gilsince the West Indies in 1992-93.

South Africa ffxi gil were never under any pressure in eq2 plat their run chase and did not lose eq2 gold a wicket until just before lunch when the inspirational Smith Lord of the Rings Online Gold was trapped leg before wicket by Nathan LOTRO Gold Hauritz.

Smith had flyff penya dominated a 121-run opening stand flyff money with Neil McKenzie, hitting ffxi gil 10 boundaries.

McKenzie struggled to buy ffxi gil a half century and survived strong eq2 plat lbw shouts from Brett Lee, eq2 gold who was bowling despite an injured foot that will Lord of the Rings Online gold keep him out of the Sydney Test.

South Africa's LOTRO gold victory was set up by a brilliant maiden Test century fly for fun penya from JP Duminy, who shared a stunning flyff penya 180-run ninth wicket partnership with pace bowler Dale Final Fantasy XI gil Steyn.

It gave the tourists ffxi gil a priceless 65-run lead on first innings before man of eq2 plat the match Steyn worked his magic with the ball as Australia were eq2 gold bowled out on the fourth day for 247 in their second innings.

The pugnacious Smith was virtually runescape money lost for words in his victory speech.

"It has been such a special moment runescape gold for all of us, it has been an incredible team effort," he said.

"I have been smiling non-stop wow po since we hit the winning runs.

"To be 2-0 up after this game was something wow or we only dreamt of."

South Africa won the first Test in Perth from an unlikely position, chasing 414 for victory for the loss of only four wickets.